Elizabeth Bookser Barkley’s Power of the Pen

I read her name before I spoke with her. I talked to her over the phone before I met her. When I finally did meet her, I had no idea that such a huge influence on my career as a writer would come from such a tiny, yet feisty, well-loved woman.

When I decided to go back to college for an English degree, I found Elizabeth Bookser Barkley’s name in the College of Mount St. Joseph promotional materials. I was tentative about going back to school. I had quit my career as a chemical engineer (1979 degree from the University of Dayton), after working for Procter and Gamble a mere 3-1/2 years, to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. I really didn’t know if I had it in me to tackle college work again with other students less than half my age.

Photo from Cincinnati.com story

I found the courage to call Elizabeth Bookser Barkley and she steered me to the right course with which to begin. She continued to subtly steer me, something she excels at, through the remaining years I spent at the Mount working on my degree. I took five courses with her as the professor; when a position opened as a Writing Center Consultant, she recommended me; when she needed an editor for the school’s newspaper that she monitored, she asked me to do it.

Both of my stories that were published in the national magazine, St. Anthony Messenger, (The Joys and Challenges of Life with Annie – October 2008, and Sister Mary Beth Peters: A Heart for the Poor – April 2008) came from one of her classes.

Elizabeth Bookser Barkley, known as Buffy by her students and colleagues, is a professor and chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at the College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also a freelance writer who contributes to a variety of Catholic publications. You can do a simple google search of her name and find multiple articles and books written by Elizabeth Bookser Barkley.

The article I’d like to draw your attention to is one that was published yesterday (January 4, 2012) in the Cincinnati Enquirer and is now available online entitled, “The power of the pen.” I hope you take a minute to read it. I think it will make you smile.

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Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

11 thoughts on “Elizabeth Bookser Barkley’s Power of the Pen”

  1. My interest in writing began when I was a young child. I was encouraged by my grade school English teacher. I’ve forgotten almost all my elementary school teachers but two. Those teachers that care enough for their students and their profession may influence the lives of their students more than they would expect or imagine at the time.

    I read the article, “The Power of the Pen.” Thank you for your post today, and for sharing with us someone that influenced you along the way.

    1. Thanks, Nancy. I went there and am printing it out. It’s going in my marketing strategies file. (Once I get organized). Actually, it was a relief to see that I am already doing many of the right things, although she has given me a few new ideas.

      Always happy to receive any help I can get.

    1. She is a terrific teacher. You’re right about the impact teachers can have on us. I thought about being a teacher. Maybe I should have done that instead of being a wannabe author. πŸ™‚

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